Innovative Urban Farm-To-Restaurant Project in South Minneapolis
HECUA- Gandhi Mahal Urban Farms
HECUA- Gandhi Mahal Urban Farm Kickstarter project
After a small test run on two farm plots in the summer of 2012, The HECUA/ Gandhi Mahal farm project has grown this year to twelve plots sprinkled throughout the Minneapolis and Twin Cities area — all located between 0.2 to 19.2 miles from the restaurant. The partnership has given life to a brand new farmer cooperative in which 9 young farmers have been given the opportunity to try their hands at the business of farming. From the 12 plots, we hope to bring 10,000 pounds of produce into the restaurant this growing season. You may have heard that the deck is stacked against us. And in some ways that is true. In order to help our fledgling farming project succeed we need support to acquire some basic infrastructure.
This project isn’t just about HECUA and Gandhi Mahal. We are hoping to grow a model of how back yard farmers can be economically successful. To do this, we need to go through the process of learning about how it all works. Not only do we need fences, and trailers, can processing equipment, we need coordination, education, and the ability to tell our story. We seek to leverage people power and provide the funding to facilitate participation in the project. Education is a key goal as well, bringing an experiential element to today’s learners and tomorrow’s teachers. And of course story telling: our desire to make a model that can be used by others who want to strengthen their local communities and food systems.